Vision Éternel is a melogaze band based in Montreal, Canada, which has over the past 10 years, been crafting a style of its own and established itself in the ambient, shoegaze and post-rock scenes. Being too emotional for the ambient genre, too minimalist for the post-rock scene and too ethereal for the emo revivalists, songwriter Alexandre Julien eventually coined a new term; “melogaze”.
Melogaze has been described as a perfect blend of shoegaze and melodrama. Alexandre has painstakingly collected emotions from past heartbreaks and redistributed them into concept albums. Each Vision Éternel release has been a concept album, dedicated to a different phase of love; usually the one that is dreaded by most… having to move on.
Vision Éternel was founded by Alexandre Julien in January of 2007. Initially, the band was part of the Triskalyon collective; a group of bands with common beliefs who shared band members and had their own record label, Mortification Records. And so Vision Éternel was immediately signed to Mortification Records and the band’s debut EP, “Seul Dans L’obsession“, was released less than a month later on February 14th of 2007. “Seul Dans L’obsession” was a concept extended play and depicted several phases relating to love; from meeting a girl and falling in love, to the troubled relationship and the break-up, to finally having to painfully move on.
A music video was filmed for the single, “Love Within Narcosis” and was promoted exclusively on YouTube throughout the first half of 2007. A second single was released in the summer of 2007 for “Love Within Isolation“, and helped Vision Éternel peak on the independent Myspace charts; reaching No. 6 on the Shoegaze charts and No. 21 on the Ambient charts. To this day, “Seul Dans L’obsession” remains the best-selling and most downloaded release on Mortification Records.
Beginning in the summer of 2007, Alexandre experimented with the idea of expanding the band to include other members. The first person to try out was Philip Altobelli, who had been a member of Triskalyon with his solo project Darklink. But Philip only lasted a brief time in the band. When he left the band, he also gave up playing electric guitar completely and dedicated himself to classical guitar, an instrument and style he today teaches professionally. In October of 2007, Josh McConnell performed with Vision Éternel for a single rehearsal. Josh was a heavy metal musician who played in the Montreal heavy metal band Mad Parish and also sang in the Iron Maiden cover band Brand New World. His style was so drastically different from Vision Éternel’s that things did not work out.
It was in January of 2008 that Alexandre struck luck. Vision Éternel was joined by Nidal Mourad on acoustic rhythm guitar and Adam Kennedy on lead electric guitar, performing solos. Nidal had formerly sang in the Alberta metalcore band Natesment, while Adam was from the Ottawa region and had dabbled in hard rock, hip hop and electronics, performing under the names AK & Lord V and Orpheus. This successful trio managed to re-work two Vision Éternel songs into post-rock/indie rock-sounding material.
But Nidal left after a few weeks, and Alexandre decided to continue the band as a solo project. Since leaving Vision Éternel, Nidal has become a successful DJ, performing under the name Ziko Ghost. As for Adam, he established himself as a multi-instrumentalist producer and studio engineer. He has played in Beyond the Dune Sea, 1993, Acid Cross, Owl Eyes Project and Wake the Wolf. He also opened his own recording studio, Vital Philosophy.
On March 14th of 2008, “Un Automne En Solitude“, the second Vision Éternel EP, was released through Mortification Records. This extended play continued along the concept initiated with “Seul Dans L’obsession“. But Alexandre elaborated on it to incorporate a theme from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo“; the story of “man meets woman, man loses woman, man meets woman again, man loses woman again”. The sophomore extended play featured the single “Season In Absence“, which landed two music videos; one directed by Niels Geybels (who has played in the dark ambient band Sequences, has designed many artworks under his company Depraved Designs, and presently owns the record label Audio.Visuals.Atmosphere), and another directed by Alexandre Julien.
In the summer of 2008, Vision Éternel announced a split 7” vinyl with the Californian post-rock band Ethereal Beauty. This release was highly promoted for several years but it was eventually cancelled when Ethereal Beauty broke up in 2010. In September of 2008, Vision Éternel was signed to Abridged Pause Recordings, as part of the record label’s initial four bands on the roster. The other three bands were Ethereal Beauty, Dreams of the Drowned and Black Autumn.
On February 14th of 2009, exactly two years after “Seul Dans L’obsession” was released, a Japanese exclusive compilation was released. “An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes“, which compiled the first two EPs with three unreleased b-sides, was released through Frozen Veins Records and came bundled with a poster.
Vision Éternel’s first release through Abridged Pause Recordings was unveiled on March 9th of 2010 with the band’s third EP. “Abondance De Périls” was mastered by ex-band member Adam Kennedy and was released on the same date as Beyond the Dune Sea’s self-titled debut album, Adam Kennedy’s new project, also signed to Abridged Pause Recordings. Beginning with this third EP, Vision Éternel’s sound began to mature. This release spanned two singles; a limited edition, Bandcamp-exclusive promotional download for “Rehearsal November 30th, 2009” and the proper single for “Thoughts As Naïvety“.
A follow-up to “Abondance De Périls” entitled “The Last Great Torch Song” was released on March 14th of 2012 through Abridged Pause Recordings. This fourth extended play featured a slew of guest musicians and collaborators including Garry Brents (of Cara Neir, Parabstruse, Bunrage, and many others), Eiman Nejad (of Mutiny Within, Eliminator, Antiquity, Arcanum, Beneath The Dead Ring, Brainscan, Intifada SS and Unblessed), Howard Change (of Throne of Mortality, Black Albatross, Funeral Junkie, Arcanum and Valleys of the Living), Alexander Fawcett (of Oceanus, Arboretus, Esuna and Sleepless Dreams) and Marina Polak.
Following “The Last Great Torch Song“, Vision Éternel remained quiet while Alexandre worked on other projects. In the summer of 2014, Vision Éternel was approached to compose the soundtrack to a short film. Alexandre composed a soundtrack highly influenced by Clint Mansell’s “Moon” score. But the film’s producer, writer and director vanished with the entire funds for the project, leaving the material unreleased. Instead, the soundtrack was edited, re-recorded and re-conceptualized into Vision Éternel’s fifth EP, “Echoes From Forgotten Hearts“. This EP was released through Abridged Pause Recordings on February 14th of 2015.
Vision Éternel is now celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2017. To promote this, several surprises have been planned for the year. The first of these will be the long-anticipated boxed set, “An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes“, which will present most of the EPs in physical format for the first time. Additional merchandise will be also be released.
Disclaimer: Though Vision Éternel has strong ties in the metal and ambient scenes, Vision Éternel has no political nor religious affiliations. Vision Éternel is atheist, nihilistic and narcissistic, and prefers associating with nature and animals rather than with civilization and society.
Alexandre Julien has also played in Les Rocker’s (1999), The Slopin Fairy 7 (2002-2004), The Tom & Alex Project (2003), Scapegoat (2004), Throne of Mortality (2005-2007), Projection Mina (2006-2007), Soufferance (2006-Present), Vision Solitude (2006-2009), Vision Lunar (2006-2007, 2007-2009, 2015-Present), Gallia Fornax (2007), Human Infect (2007-2008), Green Territory (2007), Lanterns Awake (2008-2011), Éphémère (2010, 2015), Murder on Redpath (2010-2011) and Citadel Swamp (2011-Present).